Allardyce compares Chelsea loan star to Spurs and Man Utd pair
PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 March 2013
PA Wire/Press Association Images
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes striker Romelu Lukaku is as important to West Brom as Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie are to Tottenham and Manchester United.
Lukaku was labelled a flop after a difficult first season at Chelsea but has shone on loan at the Hawthorns, netting 13 goals in 30 appearances to fire Steve Clarke’s side into the top half of the table.
Lukaku was a reported target for West Ham in the summer and Allardyce, whose side face West Brom at Upton Park on Saturday, has been hugely impressed by his impact at the Midlands club.
“He was one of many players that were talked about who might have been available at the time,” said Allardyce. “But we didn’t strike a deal.
“I can’t remember exactly what happened at the end of it but our main target at that stage became Andy Carroll.”
He added: “I think he has had a tremendous season at West Brom and it’s been a major bonus for Clarkey.
“He’s picked up a player who initially came off the bench and scored and eventually now starts and continues to score.
“He’s been a tremendous for West Brom and their success this season.”
West Ham’s misfiring strikers have mustered a meagre eight Premier League goals between them this season and Allardyce admits they have suffered without a prolific presence up front.
Lukaku is joint-fifth in the Premier League scoring charts, while Van Persie and Bale have hit 19 and 16 for United and Spurs respectively.
“You can see what somebody like Lukaku does when they get into double figures, what happens when Van Persie goes to Manchester United and what Bale’s done for Tottenham,” said Allardyce.
“Kevin Nolan is our leading goalscorer with six,” he added. “The bottom line is that’s not good enough.
“If you want to be an established Premier League side, you have got to have at least a couple of your frontmen notching ten each and then the rest can follow on behind that.
“To go through a season with your leading goalscorer only on six, it’s pretty amazing that we are where we are in the league.”